The Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) in collaboration with a task force team comprising of indigenous people from civil organisations are working on a new policy for the indigenous peoples of Solomon Islands.
The overarching aim of the new and first ever policy is exclusively to protect and promote the rights of indigenous Solomon Islanders.
Work on the policy is currently underway after the MRD established the task force last week.
The task force team is called the Task Force for Policy on Indigenous Peoples of Solomon Islands (PIPSI).
In its recent meeting with the ministry (MRD), the task force team members presented their terms of reference to the Permanent Secretary of MRD Dr Samson Viulu for consideration and approval.
The terms of reference include consultations with stakeholders on the proposed policy and the drafting of the policy.
“Given the ongoing challenges faced by the indigenous people of Solomon Islands on lack of opportunities to develop their economic livelihood and others, the task force reached out to the ministry to collaborate on formulating a policy that protects and promotes the rights of the indigenous peoples of Solomon Islands,” PS of MRD Dr Viulu explained.
He further added that given that more than 90 per cent of the nation’s population is indigenous, and acknowledging the recognition of the rights of indigenous peoples in the constitution of Solomon Islands, the ministry agrees to work with the task force through provision of funding support and technical guidance.
PS Viulu has been heavily engaged in this discourse at the international sphere and numerous times had been the pacific indigenous rep to international conventions including United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD), and United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNFPII).
The PS on behalf of MRD thanked the task force from the civil organization networks for taking the lead in reaching out to the ministry to formulate the country’s first ever policy on indigenous people.
The Policy task force is chaired by Buddy Wickhams No’amasahu the sitting President for Solomon Islands Indigenous Peoples Human Rights Advocacy Association (SIIPHRAA) and members include Richard, Ella Kauhue, a prominent women leader and Secretary Leah Ramo.
– MRD Press